Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size

Myths & Facts About Ringworm


Myth 6: You'll see symptoms of ringworm right after you're infected

Ringworm has a long incubation period. The red rash can actually take a few days to appear on your skin. If you have ringworm of the scalp, you may not see any signs for a full two weeks after you were exposed.

Myth 7: You can't catch ringworm from your pet

Humans and their pets can share a number of diseases, including ringworm. Not only can you catch ringworm from your cat, dog, rabbit, or bird, but you can give it to your pet, too. That's why it's important to take your pet to the vet if you suspect ringworm. Keep infected pets away from your family -- as well as from other pets. And wash your hands with soap and warm water every time you touch your pet until the infection clears.

Myth 8: A flaky scalp is probably dandruff, not ringworm

Not necessarily. Sometimes ringworm of the scalp doesn't produce the signature ring. Instead, the skin becomes scaly and flaky, much like dandruff.

Myth 9: Only the infected person needs to be treated for ringworm

Because ringworm is so contagious, other people in the household may also need to be treated -- even if they don't have any symptoms. If there's a chance they may have picked up ringworm of the scalp, they may need to use a special shampoo and be examined to determine if there is an infection.

Myth 10: Ringworm is treated with antibiotics

Antibiotics kill bacteria. They won't work on ringworm, which is caused by a fungus. Ringworm is treated with antifungal medicines that you either rub on the skin or take by mouth. Ringworm of the scalp is treated with a special shampoo and an oral antifungal medicine. You may have to keep using whatever medicine you're prescribed for several weeks to fully get rid of the infection.

Myth 11: Once you get ringworm, you can't catch it again

It's common to get infected again, especially with ringworm of the nails.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on April 13, 2014
1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Pictures and symptoms of the red, scaly rash.
woman with dyed dark hair
What it says about your health.
woman with cleaning products
Top causes of the itch that rashes.
atopic dermatitus
Identify and treat common skin problems.
itchy skin
shingles rash on skin
woman with skin tag
Woman washing face
woman washing her hair in sink
close up of womans bare neck
woman with face cream